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Once Upon a Time Machine
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode
Once Upon a Time Machine.png
Season Code: 05
Episode: 02
Original airdate September 17, 1991
Written by Michael Maurer
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"The Turtles and the Hare" "My Brother, the Bad Guy"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Season
September 10, 1990 - December 8, 1990
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  • Syndication
  1. "Plan Six From Outer Space"
  2. "Turtles of the Jungle"
  3. "Michelangelo Toys Around"
  4. "Peking Turtle"
  5. "Shredder's Mom"
  6. "Four Turtles and a Baby"
  7. "Turtlemaniac"
  8. "Rondo in New York"
  9. "Planet of the Turtles"
  10. "Name That Toon"
  11. "Menace Maestro, Please"
  12. "Superhero for a Day"
  13. "Back to the Egg"
  • Saturday Mornings
  1. "Son of Return of the Fly II"
  2. "Raphael Knocks 'em Dead"
  3. "Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer the Universe"
  4. "Raphael Meets His Match"
  5. "Slash - The Evil Turtle from Dimension X"
  6. "Leonardo Lightens Up"
  7. "Were-Rats from Channel 6"
  8. "Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo"
  9. "The Big Zipp Attack"
  10. "Donatello Makes Time"
  11. "Farewell, Lotus Blossom"
  12. "Rebel Without a Fin"
  13. "Rhino-Man"
  14. "Michelangelo Meets Bugman"
  15. "Poor Little Rich Turtle"
  16. "What's Michelangelo Good For?"
  17. "The Dimension X Story"
  18. "Donatello's Degree"
  19. "The Big Cufflink Caper!"
  20. "Leonardo Versus Tempestra"
  21. "Splinter Vanishes"
  22. "Raphael Drives 'Em Wild"
  23. "Beyond the Donatello Nebula"
  24. "Big Bug Blunder"
  25. "The Foot Soldiers are Revolting"
  26. "Unidentified Flying Leonardo"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

Once Upon a Time Machine is the second episode of season five of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.

Plot Synopsis

Hokum Hare discovers that the Shredder is using a time train to travel to the future and become a crime lord in an era without crimes. Shredder originally proposes to travel to the year 3000, long after the Ninja Turtles have died so they won't have there for him to encounter and destroy. However, Krang makes an error in the programming of the time portal, located in a subway tunnel, and when Shredder and the mutants pass through it, they end up only in the year 2036. The Turtles and Hokum jump on the time train. When they arrive in the future they find the elder versions of themselves, who are retired. Now, the younger Turtles try to whip their older selves up into shape before the big confrontation.




  • Elderly turtles' flying car
  • Flying taxi
  • Subway train


Home media releases




  • Final appearances of Hokum Hare and Bebop and Rocksteady's old gang.
  • Many of the civilians in the future have hair styles like the Neutrinos.
  • Only three members of Bebop and Rocksteady's old gang are seen.
  • Splinter isn't seen in 2036. Presumably he has passed on in the interim.


  • At the beginning of April's news report at the start of the episode, April is wearing her watch but is missing it in the following shot.
  • The crotch area of Krang's android is colored yellow when he is pointing to the flashing red dot on the Technodrome's view screen.
  • When Shredder is seen at the subway car's controls, the red button on his Com-Link is coloured yellow.
  • When Rocksteady activates the subway car's controls with the Turtles in pursuit, the blade on his dagger and sheath are curved.
  • After the Turtles stop looking at their older selves at their mansion, Raphael is seen with Leonardo's katanas.
  • Shredder's Comlink is shown mirror-flipped and is missing its yellow and red buttons.
  • The ties on the elderly Turtles' belts are coloured light brown after Shredder melts elderly Raphael's sai.